Eur J Intern Med. 2021 Oct 11:S0953-6205(21)00325-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2021.09.016. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Patients hospitalized for acute ischemic stroke have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) that may persist beyond the currently recommended period of 6 to 14 days of thromboprophylaxis. This systematic review evaluated the efficacy and safety of extended venous thromboprophylaxis in patients hospitalized for acute ischemic stroke.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched up to December 2020 for randomized controlled trials comparing extended versus standard venous thromboprophylaxis in patients hospitalized for acute ischemic stroke. The efficacy outcome was a composite of asymptomatic or symptomatic deep vein thrombosis, symptomatic pulmonary embolism, and VTE-related death. The safety outcome was major bleeding. Summary risk ratios (RRs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random-effects models.
RESULTS: Four randomized controlled trials enrolling 33718 patients were included. Of 4330 (12.8%) patients hospitalized for acute ischemic stroke, 2152 (49.7%) received extended thromboprophylaxis for four to five weeks with betrixaban (n = 405, 18.8%), enoxaparin (n = 198, 9.2%), or rivaroxaban (n = 1549, 72.0%), and 2178 (50.3%) received standard venous thromboprophylaxis with enoxaparin. VTE risk was lower in acute ischemic stroke patients receiving extended thromboprophylaxis (RR 0.67; 95% CI, 0.43 to 1.04; 13 fewer per 1000), whereas the increase in major bleeding seemed trivial when compared with standard prophylaxis (RR 1.10; 95% CI, 0.31 to 3.95; 1 more per 1000).
CONCLUSION: In patients hospitalized for acute ischemic stroke, the net clinical benefit may favor extended venous thromboprophylaxis for four to five weeks over standard thromboprophylaxis.